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> New research: Black women's experiences of distress and recovery

The Centre for Emotional Health has worked in collaboration with the Mental Health Foundation and Survivor Research to document black women’s experiences of mental or emotional distress and recovery.

'Recovery and resilience: African, African-Caribbean and South Asian’s women’s narratives of recovering from mental distress' is based on interviews with 27 women and explores perspectives of ‘mental’ distress and experiences of recovery and resilience.

The research highlights that black women view distress as being caused by a range of issues including personal, family, cultural and bio medical factors. Many women viewed their distress as a valid response to life experiences which included sexual and physical violence, the pressure of responsibilities and limitations placed on them by family and cultural expectations, racism in broader society and in struggling to find a sense of self and positive identity as black women.

For many women recovery meant more than just managing ‘symptoms’ and involved exploring emotions and making sense of the experiences which caused distress. The narratives show that it is important that those supporting women engage with them as an individual and understand their unique circumstances and experiences.

It was important to women that they had space to talk; talking helped relieve symptoms, discharged tension, tackled the causes of distress and helped prevent future distress by developing tools and inner resources to keep themselves healthy. Listening and empathy were described as two of the most powerful and healing interventions that others could make to help support their recovery.


The report was released on 23 March 2011 and is available to download from the Centre for Emotional Health, Mental Health Foundation and Survivor Research.
 

Posted in Latest News on 29/03/2011

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